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Feride Büyükdenktas’s Zeytinyagli Dolma

My grandma’s recipe for stuffed peppers in olive oil, this dish is prepared a day in advance and served cold with fresh lemon juice, a perfect summer recipe.



3-4 white onions (more onions mean more taste)

2-3 tomatoes

100ml olive oil

1 glass (250ml) of Turkish Baldo rice

1/3 cup of dried blackcurrants

2 x 1/4tsp salt

1/4tsp pepper

2tsp dried mint

1/4tsp cinnamon

1/4tsp Turkish Seven Spice blend

Approx 15 Turkish green peppers (the round, not the long ones)

1 glass warm water

1-2 lemons for serving



Chop onions finely. Grate one of the tomatoes, leave skin out. Take a large skillet with a glass like and heat olive oil on medium heat. Cook onions with a closed lid until translucent but not brown. Add the grated tomato and cook for another 2 minutes. Wash rice a few times until the water remains clear. Add rice, blackcurrants, salt, pepper, mint and spices to the skillet, stir well. Add a glass of water, bring quickly to the boil, then let it simmer on a low heat with lid on. Once the water has been completely absorbed, take the rice off the heat and give it a good stir. Put a towel between pan and lid, and leave rice to cool for about 15 minutes.


Cut around the stem of the pepper, take the top off, remove all seeds and clean well. Fill the peppers with the rice mix just below the rim. Cut the remaining tomatoes in slices. Use one slice for each pepper to cover the rice, pushing it under the rim of the pepper. If necessary, cut the tomato slice to size. Place the stuffed peppers in the same pan you used for the rice, filling the pan tightly so that the peppers remain upright and support each other. Add a glass of warm water and a 1/4 tsp salt and bring to the boil with the lid on. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat and cook until the water is evaporated. Be careful not to burn the peppers. Leave in the fridge overnight and serve the next day.

Suggestion for eating: cut the peppers in half and squeeze as much fresh lemon on the halves as you like.

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